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Full text of "California Garden, Vol. 48, No.2, Summer 1957"

FORTY EIGHTH YEAR 



SUMMER 1957 



VOLUME 48, NO. 2 




Photograph by James H. Moller 



STAGHORN FERN, platycerium grande 

Grown by Mrs. Charles Calloway, of La Jolla, California 

Photographed in lathhouse of Marshall Gresham, Encinitas, California 
For more about this plant family, see leading article inside 



PUBLISHED BY 
SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA 




AFFILIATE MEMBERS 1957 



SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 

GARDEN CLUB OF SAN DIEGO 

PARK ADMINISTRATION BUILDING 

Balboa Park 
San Diego 1, California 



OFFICERS 

President - - Mrs. Joseph J. Kenneally 
Vice-President - Mrs. Sheldon P. Thatcher 
Recording Secretary - Mr. Stanley Miller 
Corr. Secretary - - - Mrs. Robert Little 
Financial Secretary - - Mrs. Clayton Lee 
Treasurer ------ W. Allen Perry 

DIRECTORS 

Mrs. Arthur Shoven 
James S. Carlyle 
Mrs. De Forrest Ward 
Mrs. Anuta Lynch 
Dr. J. W. Well 
Albert Fertsch 



ALFRED D. ROBINSON BEGONIA SOCIETY 
Third Friday, Gardens of Members, 10:30 a.m. 

President: Mrs. R. Clayton Lee 
3811 St. James PI., S. D. 3. CY 6-4845 

Rep. Dir.: Miss Alice Greer 
2972 First Ave., S. D. 3. CY 6-2267 

CONVAIR GARDEN CLUB— 

Second Wednesday, Floral Building 

President: Walter E. McVay 

3824 Jennings St., S. D. 7. AC 3-8473 

Rep. Dir.: Eugene Zimmerman 

1942 Abbe, S. D. II. BR 7-3383 

CORONADO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 
First Monday, Red Cross Bldg., Coronado 

President: Cmdr. John N. Maclnnes 
277 B Ave., Coronado. HE 5-3026 
Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Frank Fake 
901 A Ave., Coronado. HE 5-5245 

DIST. I A, CALIFORNIA GARDEN CLUBS, INC. 
Second Monday, Floral Building 10:30 a.m. 

Chairman: Mrs. Melvin Stewart 
6139 Mesita, S. D. 15. JU 2-5812 

FLORIST ASSOCIATION, SAN DIEGO COUNTY 

President: Mr. Howard Cooper 
520 4th Ave., S. D. I. AT 1-6651 

MISSION FUCHSIA SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO— 
First Monday, Oneira Club House, 7:30 p.m. 

President: Mrs. P. E. Seeman 

4346 44th St., San Diego 15. AT 2-0031 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. E. C. Moore 

3319 Trumbull, San Diego 6. AC 3-0193 



ORGANIC GARDENING CLUB— 
Third Friday, Floral Building 

President: Phil Arena 

Highway 395, Escondido. SH 5-9329 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Hermina Hilkowitz 

1756 Mission Cliffs Drive, S.D. 16. CY 6-2282 



SAN DIEGO CAMELLIA SOCIETY- 
Second Friday, Floral Building 

President: Dr. Willis Miller 

4366 Altamirano Way, S.D. 3. CY 6-6961 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Stanley Miller 

1590 E. Chase Ave., El Cajon. HI 4-8141 

S. D. CHAPTER CALIF. ASS'N. NURSERYMEN 
Third Thursday, 7:30 p.m. 

President: Chas. Dibbs 

1707 33rd, S. D. 2. BE 2-1524 

Rep. Dir.: Ada Perry 

335 Ozark St., S. D. 2. CO 4-4136 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY DAHLIA SOCIETY 
Fourth Tuesday, Floral Building, 7:30 p.m. 

President: Dr. J. W. Troxell 

4950 Canterbury Dr., S. D. 16. AT 2-9131 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY ORCHID SOCIETY— 
First Tuesday, Floral Building 

President: Vernon R. Duckett 
4733 Norma Dr., San Diego. AT 1-6545 
Rep. Dir.: Miss Elizabeth A. Newkirk 
1654 La Mancha Dr., S. D. 9. HU 8-5735 

SAN DIEGO FUCHSIA SOCIETY— 
Second Monday, Blind Recreation Center, 8 p.m. 

President: Mrs. Effie Jacoby 

7437 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego. HO 9-4054 

Rep. Dir.: Mrs. Alfred Fifield 

4472 58th St., San Diego 15. JU 2-3005 

SAN DIEGO ROSE SOCIETY— 
Third Monday, Floral Building 

President: James Kirk 

P.O. Box 166, Cardiff, Calif. 

Rep. Dir.: Byron Lindsley 

S. D. Trust & Savings Bldg., S. D. I. BE 9-6162 



For use of the Floral Building, Floral Associa- 
tion groups and affiliates are asked to check the 
calendar at the Floral Bldg. by calling BE 
2-5762, on Tuesdays. 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 

Published Quarterly by the 

SAN DIEGO FLORAL ASSOCIATION 

Under the sponsorship of 

The Park and Recreation Dept., 

City of San Diego 

Editor ----- Alice M. Clark 
Managing Editor - Janet Richards 

Circulation Manager Harriet Popejoy 

Associate Editors — 

Winifred Davidson 

Guy L. Fleming 

Alice Greer 

Ethel Bailey Higgins 

Roland S. Hoyt 

Aiice E. Inch 

Chauncy I. Jerabek 

Marion Almy Lippitt 

Ada McLouth 

Jane Minshall 

Roy A. Ouer, M.D. 

Ada Perry 

Frank Quintana, Science 

Ed F. Roach 



Subscriptions to California Garden, $2.00 per 
year; foreign countries and Canada $2.25. Califor- 
nia Garden is on the list of publications author- 
ized by the San Diego Retail Merchants Associa- 
tion. Manuscripts submitted for publication will 
receive prompt attention. Advertising rates on 
request. 



Entered as second-class matter December 8 
1910, at the Post Office at San Diego, California' 
under the Act of March 3, 1879. 



Wanted: Back issues of California Garden from 
1909 to 1916 and Spring, 1952. Please send to Miss 
Alice M, Greer for files. 



The Floral Building and library will be open every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to 
members and the public. Mrs. Kenneally will be available for consultation. 



San Diego Floral Association Activities 
Visitors Always Welcome 



Tuesday, June 18 6:30 p.m. 

Annual "Favorite Dish" supper of S.D.F.A. 
Installation of officers. 
Special entertainment program. 
Adjournment until September. 

Fourth Monday of each month . . . 9:30 a.m. 

Flower Arrangement classes in Floral Bldg. 
Instructor: Mrs. J. R. Kirkpatrick 
Chairman: Mrs. Roland Hoyt. CY 6-2757 

GARDEN FASHION TEA 

Wednesday, July 10 2:00 p.m. 

Lawn terrace of Dr. and Mrs. Roy M. 

Ledford 
579 San Elijo, Point Loma 
Fashions by Marston's. 
Complimentary refreshments 

prizes. 
Tickets $2.50 each. Attendance 
Chairman, Mrs. Roland Hoyt. 



Tickets: Mrs. Anuta Lynch and 



and door 
imited. 



Garden Clubs — Notice 

Affiliate membership in the San Diego Floral 
Association is available to all garden clubs 
within the city limits of San Diego. Annual 
dues of $ 10.00 entitles an affiliate to rep- 
resentafion on the executive board of the 
Floral Association, two subscriptions to 
California Garden, and week-end flower 
shows in the Floral Building. An additional 
fee of $15.00, for the building maintenance 
fund, entitles an organization to the use of 



Mrs. Mark Bald 



win. 



July 26 - August 17 . . . 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

FIESTA GARDEN BOOTH of the S.D.F.A. 
El Mercato, Old I own Plaza 

Flower and garden accessories and 
corsages. 
Evening demonstrations of flower arrang- 
ing and corsage making. 

Saturday and Sunday, August 3 and 4 

Conference Bldg., Balboa Park. 
No charge. 
DAHLIA SHOW, S. D. CO. DAHLIA 
SOCIETY 

Floral Feature of Fiesta del Pacifico 
Many new classes. For details call: 
Dr. J. W. Troxell, Pres., AT 2-9131. 

Saturday and Sunday, August 10 and II 

FIESTA DE LAS FLORES — La Mesa 
Admission free. 



the building for meetings and to the use of 
another building in the park for a flower 
show. Garden clubs interested are asked to 
write a letter petitioning affiliate member- 
ship. 



Membership in the San Diego Floral Associa- 
tion includes a subscription to California Garden. 
Classification of memberships: Annual, $3.00; 
Family $5.00; Sustaining, $5.00; Contributing, 
$25.00, and Life Membership, $100.00. Member- 
ships and gifts are deductible from income tax. 



California Garden 



FORTY-EIGHTH YEAR 



SUMMER, 1957 



VOL. 48, NO. 2 



Platycerium 
Plant Gems of Ancient Heritage 



A goodly part of the joy of gar- 
dening derives from the happy 
palaver between gardeners. A gar- 
dener is probably happiest, when 
in the hope of arousing a similar 
enthusiasm in his audience, he 
launches into an expository mono- 
logue about a particular plant in- 
terest. And that, My Dear Chil- 
dren, is why Garden Magazines 
were born ! 

The gardener turned author is 
probably UNhappiest when faced 
with the proposition of addressing 
himself to "What's New in the 
Garden" for the thirty-seventh 
time. Just for a switch, then, let's 
look at a couple of antiquities. 

Nurserymen friends have re- 
ported that there appears to be a 
resurgence of interest in ferns. 
This intelligence has prompted me 
to stump for a family of ancients 
which fits the circumstances nicely. 
I believe that the most bizarre and 
fascinating of the ferns are the 
Platycerium, the so-called "stag- 
horn" ferns. The botannical name, 
derived from the Greek, is com- 
pounded of platy, meaning broad, 
and keras, meaning horn. It is 
ideally descriptive for the reason 



Frank Quintana 

that the plants exhibit fronds 
which are promptly reminiscent of 
antlers. Because of their unusual 
appearance and their unique habit 
of epiphytic growth, these ferns 
may be depended upon to excite 
comment and conversation on the 
part of all visitors to the garden 
where they are grown. 

The Platycerium comprise a 
small group of plants of rather 
widely scattered habitat through- 
out the sub-tropical and tropical 
regions of the world. Some are 
found in temperate Australia, 
others in the Malay archipeligo, 
and the Philippines, in Africa, and 
one species is found in the South 
American Andes. The genus is 
readily recognized, made distinct 
by the repeatedly forked character 
of the fertile fronds. 

Having introduced this term 
"fertile fronds," it should be 
pointed out immediately that the 
plants produce BOTH fertile and 
infertile fronds, each type of a 
distinctly different, but harmoni- 
ous architecture. The fertile fronds 
are antler-like, and carry the spore 
in splotches, usually on the under- 
side of the leaf extremity. The 



barren or infertile fronds tend to 
a rounded, shield-like shape, and 
usually grow in rather symmetri- 
cal, opposite pairs, pressed back 
flatly convex against the growing 
media, and conforming to the con- 
tainer shape. These persistant bar- 
ren fronds or scales gradually fade 
from their original green, becom- 
ing brown and imbricate. They 
protect a mass of stems and roots, 
and collect a composting debris 
which helps to nourish the plant. 
From a point where these leaves 
intersect, somewhat tangentially, 
the fertile fronds arise and arch 



out. 



Alfred Hottes, a person whose 
patent charm made it seem icono- 
clastic to fractionate his conversa- 
tional ramblings into fact or fancy, 
explained to me that the Platy- 
cerium were something of "a miss- 
ing link" in the evolution of ferns. 
He went on to say that when fern 
spore is sown today, there first 
develops a flat shield-like body 
which is called a thalli or game- 
tophyte. From this primary green 
body, the true fern arises and de- 
velops. Thereupon, the thalli dis- 
appears and is not seen again till 



Cover Picture: Cynthia Gray Calloway stands beneath her Platycerium grand e to help convey some idea of its 
stately dimensions. 

When she first obtained the plant, 25 years ago, it was about the size of a bread and butter plate. Presently, measured 
horizontally through the plant's "equator," is it 4 ft., 8 in. in periphery. The barren fronds measure almost 5 ft. from 
lower to upper leaf extremity. The fertile fronds of this plant have not yet developed fully, being this year's growth. 
However, the spore-bearing disc is complete. It is triangular in shape, with a distance of 18 in. from its apex to its 24 in. 
base. When fully developed, the entire frond will measure from 3 1 /? to 4 ft. in over-all length. 

The color of the fern is light green, except for the newest barren frond, now developing, which is covered with a 
deciduous greyish down. 



20 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



"V 



:©■' 







the sowing of the next generation 
of spore. Hottes maintained that 
the Platycerium, in hanging on to 
the flat shield-like barren frond, 
so reminiscent of the thalli, did 
represent a transition between 
older fern forms and present day 
subjects. He felt, therefore, that 
these odd ferns had a heritage of 
great antiquity. 

In the support of this conten- 
tion, Elise Hoffman of the Uni- 
versity of Vienna reported the 
identification of fossilized spore of 
the Platycerium in sandstone of 
the Cretaceous period, which 
would indicate that this plant 
family has been with us for about 
a hundred million years. Willy- 
nilly, staghorn ferns have held the 
interest of botanists for more than 
two and a half centuries. In 1705, 
Plukenet reported a sterile Afri- 
can plant with the designation, 
Neuroplatyceros aethiopicus. 
CULTURE 

Altogether there are about 
seventeen or eighteen species of 
staghorns. Authorities usually call 
them glasshouse plants, but most 
of the common varieties are satis- 
factory lathhouse subjects along 
the coastal belt of Southern Cali- 
fornia. These may also be grown 
in a protected patio area or inte- 
grated in a partially shaded garden 
area. The staghorn ferns are epi- 
phytic in nature, so they need no 
soil. They prefer a mixture of 
sphagnum moss and rough peat 
fiber, or sphagnum alone. Shred- 
ded fir bark and sphagnum would 
make an ideal media. They are 
especially effective when planted 
in the crotch of a tree, or in wall 
baskets. When grown in a regular 
wire hanging basket, these ferns 
(especially P. alcicorne) will 
throw roots throughout the grow- 



ing media, and in time, will de- 
velop a solid ball of plants com- 
pletely surrounding the container, 
displaying antlers which arch out 
in every direction. The effect is 
nothing short of remarkable. In 
more humid locations, as in Ha- 
waii, the plants are often merely 
nailed to a tree with a backing of 
moss to start them off. The old 
barren fronds, soon build up a 
compost in which the fern grows 
quite happily. 

The Platycerium will tolerate 
strong light, but prefers it filtered. 
Some authorities recommend dry- 
ing out to the point of wilting be- 
fore watering, but it would be 
better to maintain an adequate 
supply of moisture at all times. 
Fertilizing with soluble fish, or 
other prepared concentrates (Fo- 
lium, Soluble Vigoro, Liquinox, 
etc.) at regular intervals is ap- 
preciated by the plant. It is prob- 
ably wisest to use at half the 
strength recommended on the la- 
bel. Two or three times a year one 
enthusiast I know places clods of 
dairy manure in staghorn baskets, 
and reports satisfactory results. 
PROPAGATION 

Platycerium may be propagated 
by division of young plants pro- 
duced from the adventitious buds 
on their roots (sucker growths). 
P. grande is one species which 
does not produce off-sets, and must 
be propagated by means of spores. 
This method is agonizingly slow, 
but effectively productive. Asexu- 
al propagation involves cutting out 
(a sharp kitchen knife is the best 
tool) a set of antlers together with 
a goodly portion of barren fronds. 
Taking of a circle of at least four 
inches in diameter, and several 
layers thick, will insure a suffi- 
cient root system. This amputa- 



We are indebted to Alvin F. Koenig, an ardent fern enthusiast of Pacific 
Beach, California, for the privilege of choosing four pictures from several of 
his large collection of Platycerium species. Most of the plants shown are around 
two years old. A foot rule indicates the size of the two upper specimens. The 
lower ones are each mounted on a board, twelve inches wide. Photos by R. B. Axt. 

Platycerium identification follows: (see Key for description) 
1. P. alcicorne var. majus 3. P. coronarium 

2- P. hilli 4. P. willenckti 



SUMMER, 1957 



21 



KEY TO THE PLATYCERIUM GENUS 



As mentioned earlier, there are 
some 17 or 18 valid species of the 
Platycerium family. Were it not 
for the confusion in nomenclature 
and in classification caused by 
earlier writers, it would be a sim- 

SYNOPSIS OF THE SPECIES. 

Fertile fronds broad, with no narrow 

strap-like division. 

Fertile fronds rounded at apex, with 
entire margins: sporangial area oval: 
barren leaves erect. P. angolense 

Fertile fronds more or less lobed at 

the apex. 

Apex with two rounded lobes; 
margins otherwise entire; spor- 
angial area kidney shaped. 

P. Ellisii 

Apex with irregular margins 
showing tendency to fork; sporan- 
gial areas irregular in shape fol- 
lowing leaf outline; barren leaves 
thick, with deep irregular pits 
when dry. P. madagascariense 

Fertile fronds with narrow strap-like 
lobes, resembling a stag's horn. 

Sporangial areas on a stalked scuti- 
form disc (scutiform = shield- 
shaped) P. coronarium 

Sporangial areas on undersurface of 
fertile frond. 



pie task to report the subject. For- 
tunately these differences hastened 
the development of a synopsis and 
key to the majority of the Platycer- 
ium genus, which is included be- 
low. This key is adapted from an 



Sporangial areas at or below the 
forks, and not on the strap like 
lobes of the leaf. 
Sporangial areas on an enlarged 
basal portion of the fertile frond. 

P. grande 

Sporangial areas at the sinus of 
the second fork of the fertile 
frond. 

Basal leaves (barren) lacinate 
into strap-like lobes; sporan- 
gial areas oval, on modified 
portion of fertile frond. 

P. Wdlichn 

Barren leaves undulate or entire 
at margin: sporangial area tri- 
angular on unmodified surface 
of fertile frond. P. Stemmaria 

Sporangial areas on the narrow strap- 
like lobes of the fertile frond, only 
exceptionally extended below sinus. 
Fertile fronds rigid, erect in 
growth, gradually widening up- 
wards and then forming several 
lobes or divisions. 



argument by L. M. Underwood, 
which appeared in the Bulletin of 
the Torrey Botanical Club, 1905, 
p. 587, in which a generic name 
other than Platycerium was de- 
fended. 



Bright green both sides: spo- 
rangia bearing divisions broad 
5-8 cm). P. milii 

White both sides, but becoming 
greenish above. Sporangia bear- 
ing divisions narrow (2.5 cm 
or less wide) P. V eitchii 

Fertile fronds pendant in growth. 

Sporangial areas on or near 

apices of lobes. 

Barren leaves erect and leafy: 
Fertile leaves many times 
forked. P. Willinckii 

Barren leaves remaining flat 

and disc-like: fertile leaves 

2-3 forked. P. alcicorne 

Sporangial areas medial on fer- 
tile fronds. P. andinum 

Other valid species include P. 
wandae, P. ridleyii, P. vassei, P. 
wilhelminae-re ginae , P. sumbaw- 
ense, and P. lemoinei. Of these, 
P. sumbawense is questionable. 



tion may be placed directly in the 
container in which it is to grow. 

Platycerium spore is handled 
much the same as any other fern 
spore. A simple method is to sow 
it on a layer of wet (not moist, 
WET) sphagnum moss contained 
in a commercial-size mayonnaise 
jar. Once sown, the lid should be 
screwed tightly on the jar, and the 
whole business placed in a warm 
greenhouse. Leave it alone until 
the plantlets are big enough to 
handle. The larger they are, the 
better the chance of success at the 
critical time of transplanting. Pa- 
tience, please! The first stages may 
take as long as two years. 

If you enjoy being utterly scien- 
tific, plant the spore in a nutrient 
solution where the ferns will de- 
velop faster than in soil or moss. 



Nutrient solution: 

Ammonium Nitrate 0.5 grams 

Monobasic 

Potassium Phosphate ...0.2 grams 

Magnesium Sulfate 0.2 grams 

Calcium Chloride 0.1 grams 

Ferric Chloride TRACE 

(40 drops of 1% solution) 
Distilled water to make 1000 cc. 

A half pint of this solution is 
placed in a pint jar. A cap is made 
of NONabsorbent cotton, the 
glass top is placed over it lightly, 
and the jar is sterilized, as for can- 
ning. When finished and cool, sow 
the spore from the tip of a small 
knife which has been sterilized by 
passing thru a flame. Cover tight- 
ly, label, and put away in a warm, 
shady location. When ferns are 
large enough to be transplanted, 
remove from the jar with a hooked 



wire, and plant in sphagnum. 

In connection with planting 
spore, I feel moved to tell a story. 
Once, when Mrs. Calloway's P. 
grande was "fruiting," I requested 
some spore. She advised me, be- 
fore harvesting it in quantity, to 
wait until a small amount held in 
my palm would "wiggle." Seeing 
the startled disbelief in my expres- 
sion, though I swear I tried to 
hide it, she assured me, rather 
coldly, that this intelligence had 
been given to her by some univer- 
sity horticulturists. With the zeal 
of an agnostic, I made periodic 
pilgrimages to the plant, hope- 
lessly scratching small samples of 
spore into my palm, and sourly 
observing no trace of a wiggle. 
Finally, to my total amazement 
(and joy), there came a day when 



22 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



the brown powder did indeed leap 
about in my hand. I harvested it, 
planted it, and it yielded. 

Later I came upon the explana- 
tion. The spore cases are con- 
structed rather like a fiddlehead, 
and as the spore ripens, a strain is 
developed along the outside edge 
of the curved case. Nature, in her 
craftiness, planned that the case 
should rupture violently (on a 
microscopic scale) thus casting the 
spore out as far as possible. In 
the warmth of my palm, the cases 
ruptured, and thus appeared to 
move about, demonstrating that 
the spore was ripe. 

DESCRIPTIONS 

To describe some of the species 
in a more general way, the follow- 
ing text has been adapted from 
'The Book of Choice Ferns" by 
George Schneider, a three volume 
reference work of perhaps greater 
rarity than some of the plants it 
describes. 
P. alcicorne (al-sick-corny) 

This is the commonest of the 
species, owing probably to its easy 
culture, rapid growth, and facile 
propagation. According to Lowe, 
the plant was introduced into Kew 
Gardens in 1808. Its barren fronds 
are rounded and flatly convex, 
with edges slightly waved, and 
spreading lobes that are downy 
when young. The fertile fronds, 
2 to 3 feet long, grow in clusters 
of somewhat upright habit along 
part of their length and then be- 
come pendant. They are twice or 
three times forked, and of a thick 
leathery texture, green above, and 
downy underneath. The spore is 
disposed in the last forks and at 
their bases, in irregular patches. 



P. alcicorne var. majus. (larger) 

In this variety the foliage is 
much larger and the plant shows a 
more robust habit. The fertile 
fronds have broader lobes, held on 
a stiff flat stalk, from which they 
droop elegantly, although the 
frond as a whole is erect. The bar- 
ren fronds are roundish, convex 
and overlapping. 
P. stemmaria (syn. aethiopicum) 

This species is a native of West- 
ern Africa, the Guinea Coast and 
Angola. Its basal leaves ( barren 
fronds) are stalkless, rounded and 
convex, undulated and downy 
when young. The fertile fronds 
are of a pendant habit and twice 
divided: the disc and first division 
are broader than most other kinds 
and the spore occurs in a triangu- 
lar patch surrounding the sinus be- 
tween the two horn-like projec- 
tions. The under surface is covered 
with a thin white cottony down. 
The fertile fronds occur in clusters, 
and are an average of 2-3 feet in 
length. 
P. grande (see cover illustration) 

This is a magnificent species, 
native of northern Australia, Sing- 
apore and the Philippines. The 
barren fronds, which may grow to 
a size of six feet across, are round- 
ish, ascending, and have their up- 
per edges divided into a number 
of broad blunted segments. They 
are of a light green coloration, 
covered with a woolly substance 
when young, but free of any trace 
of it when fully developed. The 
fertile fronds will extend to a 
length of four to five feet, are of 
a pendant nature, bearing a re- 
peatedly forked division toward 
the extremities. These are usually 
produced in pairs, and are pro- 



vided with a wedge-shaped disc 
which becomes covered with the 
spore. The further extremities re- 
main barren. 
HYBRIDS 

Staghorn ferns occupied the at- 
tention of two San Diego County 
practical hybridists, Marshall Gre- 
sham of Encinitas and the late 
Charles Cass of Pacific Beach. 
These gentlemen not only col- 
lected various species, but made 
attemps at hybridizing. Gresham 
sowed spore of P. hilli and P. alci- 
corne var. majus together, and 
from the combination obtained 
several plants that are not at all 
typical of either species. The culti- 
var resulting from this action dis- 
plays the green upper and under 
surface characteristic of P. hilli, 
but the more robust growth and 
heavier texture of P. a. var. majus. 
The lobes have fine sharp points 
rather than the bluntish lobes 
usually exhibited by P. a. var. 
majus. 

To the best of my present 
knowledge, no records are avail- 
able regarding the parentage of 
the Cass crosses. Some of his 
plants appear to be quite different 
from other members of the family. 
The fronds have a heavy leathery 
texture, are generally erect and 
thickly clustered, broadly widened 
at the area where the blunt lobes 
develop. The lobes are twice-divi- 
ded, and are handsomely pendant, 
while the general character of the 
leaf is erect. The plant suggests a 
cross between P. stemmaria and 
P. alcicorne var. majus. It is com- 
pletely indifferent to winters in 
Pacific Beach, where two splendid 
lathhouse specimens are grown by 
Edwin Moore. 



CURTIS COLEMAN COMPANY — REALTORS 

SINCE 1913 



SALES 



LEASES 



REAL ESTATE LOANS 



204 Bank of America Bldg. 



PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 



BEImont 3-6557 



SUMMER, 1957 



23 



San Diego Garden Center 



At long last we have a chance to 
"dig in" so that later we may 
"plant." Join the crusade for a 
Garden Center in San Diego's Bal- 
boa Park where there can be an 
Open Garden every day. Help first 
by becoming a member of the S. 
D. F. A., the oldest Garden Club 
in town, or, if away, by subscrib- 
ing to California Garden, which 
is the club Quarterly. 

Second, help by bringing your 
friends to a Garden Fashion Tea 
at the Ledford home on Point 
Loma, July 10, at 2 p.m. This will 
give out-of-town guests a chance 
to see an estate garden with a 
sweeping harbor view, glimpsed 
through specimen trees above a 
rolling lawn, rare in this climate. 
Marston's will put on a Parade of 
Garden Fashions from Work to 



Wedding time. Refreshments 
suited to the summer day will be 
offered to the audience from color- 
ful trays. There will be valuable 
garden prizes. Attendance is lim- 
ited. Avoid that "shut-out" feel- 
ing by buying tickets early. Call 
CY 6-2757, CY 8-1400 or CY 5- 
6290 for more information. 

Third, help by volunteering for 
service at the S. D. F. A. Garden 
Booth at El Mercato, Old Town 
Plaza, during Fiesta del Pacifico, 
and by telling everyone you know 
about it. There, garden club mem- 
bers may enjoy answering ques- 
tions and exchanging experiences 
with other garden lovers who may 
come and bring their tourist 
friends to see novelties, dish gar- 
dens, cacti and succulent plants, 
garden helps and accessories for 
those who have, or crave to have, 



There is some real argument 
among local collectors as to 
whether the above-mentioned 
plants are really hybrids. Hybridi- 
zation with ferns is a chancy busi- 
ness at best, depending upon the 
union of sexual parts of mature 
thalli of two different ferns. This 
implies being close enough, being 
of exactly similar age and develop- 
ment and being under the precise 
conditions necessary to permit a 
greater than normal movement of 
the archegonia (sperm cell). It 
would seem that the odds are 
against successful hybridization. In 
support of the claim, however, 
Vernon Young, writing in the 
Gardener's Chronicle of Nov. 
1935, makes mention of "natural 
hybridization" in a straightfor- 
ward way, and without qualifica- 
tion. "In some cases," he says, "the 
sperm which unites with the egg 
may come from a different plant, 
since the prothallia (of different 
ferns) often grow in groups in de- 
sirable moist places." 



Thus, a fertile field of informa- 
tion permits the controversy on 
staghorn hybrids to grow. Collo- 
quy notwithstanding, the variants 
are handsome items, worth the 
effort of searching them out and 
growing them. 

AVAILABILITY 

Comparatively speaking, stag- 
horns are uncommon plants. P. 
alcicorne has a general circulation 
among seriously interested gar- 
deners, and is usually available at 
better nurseries. It is sometimes 
sold under the synonym, bifurcat- 
um. Less frequently, P. grand e is 
seen, and sometimes P. stemmaria 
and P. alcicorne var. majus occur 
in collections of enthusiastic ama- 
teurs. Other fern species may be 
found in glass houses, and may 
also be ordered by mail from 
A. B. Cutler Nursery, Miami, Fla.; 
Julius Roehrs Co., of Rutherford, 
New Jersey; Alberts & Merkel 
Bros. Nursery in Jacksonville, 
Florida, and from Rudolf Ziesen- 



green thumbs. There will be 
demonstrations of corsage making 
and flower arranging from time to 
time. Fun and information for 
all. 

If you have taken the three steps 
mentioned above, with the right 
fervor, the rest of the steps will 
follow quickly when a winding 
grapestake fence encloses the cho- 
sen area for the Garden Center, 
under the trees by your patio door. 
A picnic terrace for the summer 
suppers before concerts or operas, 
beneath the soft lights of lanterns, 
should be an early item. Then 
there will be plots to plant to 
study our favorite flowers as well 
as a lathhouse and potting benches 
to demonstrate the care of shade 
plants. 

Help us "dig deep," but fast! 



nenne, of Santa Barbara, Califor- 
nia. Locally, P. alcicorne, P. 
grande and some others are on 
sale at a few specil nurseries in 
San Diego County. 

REFERENCES 

Lowe, "Ferns, British and Ex- 
otic"; Schneider, "The Book of 
Choice Ferns"; Nicholson, "Dic- 
tionary of Gardening"; Hooker, 
"Species Filicum"; Copeland, "Ge- 
nera Filicum"; Beddome, "Ferns 
of British-India"; Britten, Euro- 
pean Ferns"; Bailey, "Standard 
Cyclopedia of Horticulture." 



PHILODENDRON 

& 

BEGONIAS 

House Plants 

Hillside Nursery 

7580 Hillside Dr., La Jolla ' 
Corey Hogewoning, Prop. 

// will pay you to visit us. 



24 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Garden Fillers of Special Merit 



Roland S. Hoyt 



BURMA LEADWORT 

A tough general purpose plant 
that is being overlooked by the 
gardening public is the Burma 
Leadwort, Ceratostigma griff ithi. 
This is for those who do not mind 
a couple month's bare stems, or 
who are willing to accept such in 
the light of the brilliant late fall 
coloring that precedes. 

This plant is shrubby, tending to 
spead out laterally in a strong 
streaming growth from a tight 
crown. If this center growth is cut 
out, the side shoots will be forced 
out to considerable length so that 
a cover or drape for a bank is 
formed. It stands quite some 
drought, heat and poor soil. Nor- 
mally 3-4 ft. in height. The pale 
blue flowers appear a little late for 
a leadwort, August-November, 
and are rather scattered, not pro- 
fuse. It wants sun for good bloom- 
ing, but tolerates some shade. 

CANDOLLEA 

This plant has been in use for 
a good many years and with not 
too much success. Its high interest, 



beauty and general usefulness call 
for further and more intelligent 
trial by gardeners. Give it a hot 
exposure in the sun, sharp drain- 
age . . . very sharp, and a fairly 
lean soil and only nominal irriga- 
tion and you will be surprised and 
happy with the result. 

Candollea cuneformis is shrub- 
by erect, 3-4 ft. at first, later 
slumping, relaxing, but still a 
bush. The flowers of February- 
June are like little yellow wild 
roses, the petals rolling in on 
themselves. The large reddish 
sepals deepen for an added effect 
while the older, inner leaves turn 
crimson, an inward-outward haze 
or dimness of color showing 
through. 

LILY TREE 

There is a small tree of some 
20-30 ft. in height that might have 
more consideration at the hands of 
the planters who want something 
to put in the lawn or other cover. 
It has it faults, but the ability to 
grow in six or eight inches of soil 
under the moisture conditions of 



a lawn is a recommend of no mean 
proportions. 

Crinodendron dependens has 
been called at various times "Lily 
of the Valley Tree" and "Flower- 
ing Oak," and with some reason 
in both cases. But since both 
names have been used for other 
plants in the past, it would seem 
better to simply call it Lily-tree. 

The blooming is in May- June or 
July, small pendent white lily-like 
flowers throughout the body of the 
tree, followed by colored fruiting 
bodies that break open and display 
the seed, somewhat on the order 
of bittersweet. 

Faults are: a tendency to brushi- 
ness, requiring much pruning to 
keep the center open to light; old- 
er leaves drop in drought to mess 
a lawn . . . use over an open cover, 
such as ivy; foliage is very dull 
during winter. 

Points are: very rapid growth; 
sparkling flowers and snapping 
orange seed capsules; wide adap- 
tation to soil and exposure of very- 
wet ground ... it likes to drink. 






.*.'<v$0 




efiOflDWiiofiists 



at $5Rth 



SAN .: DIEGO'S SH6P OF QUAilTY AND SERVICE 



BE-9-1228 



Just name it! We are in our 34th year of giving 
San Diego complete floral service. 

• weddings 

• talks and demonstrations 

• cut flowers 

• plants for home and office 

• conventions and banquets 

• funeral designs 

There Is Always An Occasion . . . 
Say It With FLOWERS 



SUMMER, 1957 



25 



EPIDENDRUMS, MINIATURE ORCHIDS 



William De Haan 



The desire of almost every ad- 
vanced gardener is to grow some- 
thing out of the ordinary, some- 
thing a bit unusual, something 
that might test the skill and ac- 
cumulated knowledge picked up in 
growing the more prosaic things. 
Orchids are always a challenge, 
but, when the needs of the tropi- 
cal varieties are considered, the 
cost of greenhouses, humidifiers, 
heaters and other essentials gen- 
erally entails quite an investment, 
not even counting the careful at- 
tention they usually demand. 

Second choice for those who 
wish to grow orchids, without the 
cost and special requirements of 
the Epiphytic types, is the herba- 
ceous Epidendrum group which 
can be grown right out in the 
open ground, anywhere where it 
doesn't freeze too hard. These 
orchids are hardy to about thirty 
degrees. 

Along the coastal strip Epiden- 
drums can be grown in full sun 
as well as partially shaded. Inland 
they prefer afternoon shade or lath 
conditions. 

For many years there were only 
two colors available, E. obrien- 
ianum, the flame orange shade, 
and E. radicans, 3. deep red. 

During the past few years the 
hybridizers have taken an interest 
in them, and now the color range 



Gerard and 
Sands 

Come in and see our 

PAGODA VASE — 

Ideal for arranging 
short-stemmed flowers 



1268 Prospect St. 



La Jolla 



has been extended to include all 
shades from white, through the 
pinks, yellows, oranges, purples, 
lavenders and reds. It is true that 
the individual flowers are small 
but they are perfectly formed. The 
clusters will sometimes include 
fifty separate flowers that will last 
for many weeks and even months. 

The blossom heads are often six 
inches long. They are excellent 
material for arrangements, cor- 
sages, and boutonnieres, as they 
will keep for several days without 
water, after being cut. Their 
flowering season extends com- 
pletely around the calendar, so a 
planting of various colors could 
furnish flowers for almost any oc- 
casion, at any time of the year. 

The growing of Epidendrums is 
quite simple. The soil must be of 
a very loose nature. Regular gar- 
den loam enriched with well-rot- 
ted manure or some form of or- 
ganic humus is ideal. During the 
past year a valuable material for 
orchid growers has been intro- 
duced from the north woods. One 
supplier puts it in a very attractive 
package under the trade name of 
"Forest Humus." Others have it 
under the name of "Fir Bark," as 
it is made of chips and shreds of 
fir and other very acid forest 
barks. It is highly absorbent, it 
is definitely acid in reaction, and 
it is coarse enough to drain quick- 
ly. It serves a valuable purpose in 
the planting of any orchids, espec- 
ially Epidendrums. 

We have found that the heavy 
salt and alkali content of the Colo- 
rado River water has caused some 
leaf burn and spotting, but it 
hasn't affected the quantity nor 
the quality of the flowers. 

The Epidendrum plant habit is 
somewhat rangy and ragged at 
times, but they adapt themselves 
readily to training and can be 



grown as foundation shrubs, in 
tubs and pots for patio and porch 
use, as espaliered plants on lat- 
tices, walls or fences or any other 
way that might fit some particular 
garden spot. 

Some colors are reproduced by 
plantlets that form on the older 
canes. They can also be grown 
from seeds which form in capsules 
in the flower spikes. We have 
found that the easiest and fastest 
way to increase the preferred 
colors is by cuttings or plantlets. 

So we repeat, for a step upward 
on the garden ladder, try Epiden- 
drums. They will reward you many 
times over for the care you give 
them. 



A NEW PARK 

More of this later, but a pause 
now to express the appreciation of 
grateful nature-lovers everywhere 
to one of our members, Mrs. Ruth 
Larabee, who has given San Diego 
County twenty-six acres of hillside 
beauty, inland from Encinitas, to 
be known as Quail Park. 

When those of us who have 
lived here but a few years think 
of the mushroom growth of sub- 
urban areas that is swallowing up 
the hills inland from our coast, a 
section such as that offered by this 
new park could soon be an oasis 
in a citified desert. 



It's a beautiful ride 
along the ocean to 

"NATURE'S SHOW PLACE" 

One of the most colorful nurseries 
in California 

PLANTS - 



from every corner of the world 

for 
Southern California Gardens 



DE HAAN'S 

SHORELINE NURSERIES 

1680 Highway 101 Leucadia 

PLateau 3-2933 



26 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Let's Grow Mums 



David R. Roberts 



We all like to do something 
better than average. Most garden- 
ers in this area have grown aver- 
age chrysanthemums. The produc- 
tion of exhibition mums requires 
just a little more patience, atten- 
tion, and cultural knowledge. The 
magnificent blooms more than re- 
pay for the added effort they re- 
quire. 

It has been my pleasure to take 
part in the production of from 700 
to 1000 exhibition chrysanthe- 
mum plants every year for the past 
five years. I hope that my experi- 
ences will help others and create 
a new interest in growing exhibi- 
tion mums in this area. 

All cultural directions relate to 
pot grown plants. Less irrigation 
and fertilization will be required if 
the plants are to be grown in the 
ground, other requirements are the 
same. 

Propagation instructions will 
appear at the end of this article as 
it is now too late to start plants for 
this year. 

Unless you have your own 
young plants, visit your favorite 
nursery and select good quality 
plants in June. These should have 
thick, soft stems, be not over six 
inches tall, and of a variety suit- 
able for disbudding. These varie- 
ties are classed as exhibition, in- 



curved, reflexed, spiders, quilled, 
spoon, etc. In general, any normal- 
ly grown mum 2V2 inches or more 
in diameter may be a good disbud 
variety. Disbudded blooms will 
have a more definite form and 
clearer color than specimens of the 
same variety that have not been 
disbudded. 

Mum soil should have a high 
humus content. Compost or leaf 
mold should be used abundantly. 
Soils with a high content of solu- 
ble salts will impair the growth of 
the young plants. For this reason 
it is well not to use much manure, 
fertilizer, etc. in the starting mix- 
ture. The mixture that follows 
works well: 

2 parts compost or leaf mold 

3 parts loam 
1/2 part sand 

1/2 part peat moss 
To each bushel of the above mix 
add: 

1 cup Superphosphate 

2 tablespoons Potassium Sulfate 
A gallon can is a very satisfac- 
tory container. A seven inch or 
larger clay pot can be used, but it 
will have to be watered more 
often, as clay pots transpire. 

The newly transplanted mum 
should be pinched back to about 
four inches. This pinch must be on 
soft wood and the remaining stems 



should have several healthy leaves. 

Water content of the soil should 
be checked every day. At first, 
watering every three or four days 
may be enough, but as the plants 
develop they will need more and 
more water. Soil should become 
moderately dry between waterings. 

In four to six weeks, after sever- 
al branches have developed, place 
three, four-foot bamboo stakes at 
equal spaces around the edge of 
the container. A healthy branch 
is tied to each stake and then all 
other branches are removed. One 
can produce three top quality 
blooms. If you want smaller 
blooms you can leave more stems 
per plant. 

About this time the plants 
should have their first fertilization 
and again about every three weeks. 
Chrysanthemums require almost 
equal portions of nitrogen, phos- 
phoric acid, and potash. Any ferti- 
lizer supplying these is satisfac- 
tory. 

Mums should be sprayed every 
two or three weeks. A spray con- 
taining Malathion, with or with- 
out D.D.T., and Chlordane will 
do a good job. Parzate or Dithane 
Z-78 can be used for diseases. 

All side shoots should be re- 
moved from the selected branches 
before they become too woody. In 




7555 Eads Ave., La Jolla 

Formerly Sessions Nursery 



GL 4-4241 



SUMMER, 19 5 7 



27 



late summer, flower buds will de- 
develop at the end of each branch. 
These buds are of several types. 
The first bud to develop at the 
end of the stem is the "Crown 
Bud." In some varieties "Secon- 
dary Crown Buds" will also de- 
velop just below the first crown 
bud. Crown buds have no lateral 
buds in the axils of the small 
leaves on their stems. 'Terminal 
Buds" develop from leaf axils a 
few inches below the crown buds. 
These buds will produce stems 
that are higher than the crown 
buds. Terminal shoots also pro- 
duce secondary buds below the 
primary terminal bud. 

The selection of the bud to be 
saved depends on many things. 
If the crown bud has reached the 
approximate height desired, I 
would leave it along with one sec- 
ondary crown bud. This will give 
you an extra bud to rely on as the 
primary bud may not show color. 
Use the terminal bud if the crown 
bud is not strong, the stem too 
short, or if you want a bloom two 
weeks later than that produced by 
the crown bud. A flower pro- 
duced by a terminal bud will have 
a slightly crooked stem. 

Disbudding, like pinching back, 
is done with the tips of the thumb 
and the forefinger. The unwanted 
bud is broken off close to where it 
joins the stem. Try not to leave a 
stub in the leaf axil. The younger 
the side shoot, the easier it is to 
remove. Be careful not to injure 
the main stem or leaves. Again, 
for safety's sake, always leave an 
extra bud until color shows. 

Near the coast, mums should be 
grown without shade until just 
before the bud shows color. Then, 
a net or other contrivance should 
be used to provide about one half 
shade. Shade will bring out the 
color and also protect the blos- 
som from burning. Shading earlier 
will produce leggy plants and en- 
courage mildew. In inland areas, 
La Mesa eastward, shade may be 
necessary the entire season. 



When mums are in bloom this 
fall study the varieties, and select 
those you would like to grow next 
year. Consider flower form, growth 
habit, vigor, height, stem thickness, 
type of foliage, etc., and time of 
flowering. All these points are im- 
portant. For instance, a fine flower 
with a weak stem is of little use, 
unless it has unusual form or color 
to offset the fault. Each year we 
add a few new varieties to the best 
of the old. This fall we will be 
showing the following: Peggy Ann 
Hoover, early lavender-pink quill; 
Indianapolis, white incurve; E. C. 
Swire, two-tone purple incurve; 
Oriole, yellow incurve; Lavender 
Dream, lavender spider; D. F. Roy, 
two-tone bronze incurve; J. W. 
Prince, pink incurve; Anne, white 
spider; Keystone, bronze. Collect 
the varieties you like from the hun- 
dreds on the market, and plant 
them in a well drained fertile spot 
in your garden. Cut them back to 
about six inches. 

In the spring, new shoots will 
develop around the base of each 
plant. Let them grow until March 
and then cut the whole plant down 
close to the ground. Give the plants 
a good fertilization and enough wa- 
ter to encourage succulent growth. 
When these new stems are about 
eight inches tall (May l), take the 
thickest ones and make tip cuttings 
about four inches long. Remove 
the lower leaves and insert the cut- 
tings in clean sand. Do not crowd 
them. Saturate the sand with wa- 
ter from below and place the cut- 
tings in a cool place with a little 
more than one-half shade. 

Do not water them more than 
absolutely necessary. In about four 
week the cuttings will have rooted. 
At that time they should be planted 
in three-inch pots and left to get 
established for three or four weeks 
before moving to larger containers. 

Late propagation coupled with 
steady unchecked growth will pro- 
duce sturdy plants about 24 to 40 



TREES OF SAN DIEGO 

PIGMY PALMS 
C. I. Jerabek 

One of the most attractive of 
the dwarfer palms is Phoenix roe- 
beleni, (P. humilis lowieiri}, com- 
monly called Pygmy Palm. It is a 
feather-leaved type, distinguished 
by leaves whose narrow segments 
are so fine and soft as to appear 
almost fern-like. 

The specific name was given in 
honor of Mr. Roebelin who dis- 
covered it in 1880 in Siam. The 
first specimen to find its way to 
America was sold to Mr. Nililein 
of Chicago, for the sum of 500 
dollars. 

Today, it is widely used in 
patios or lawns and often in plant- 
er boxes. It should never be placed 
closer to a foundation than three 
feet, and four would be better. 
This is necessary in order to give 
the crown room to spread natural- 
ly to achieve its characteristic 
graceful appearance. 

There are many good single- 
trunked specimens in San Diego, 
but, to this date, I have discovered 
only one that is branched. This is 
at 4220 Palmetto Way, in the Mis- 
sion Hills district. It had so many 
branches that it became top-heavy. 
To save the plant the owner placed 
a large stone under the leaning 
trunk, to keep it more upright. 
Now, as you drive by, you look 
into the heart of the palm, which 
gives it a shrub-like appearance. 

Good single-trunked specimens 
can be found at the following ad- 
dresses: 1231 Myrtle Way, 3262 
Grape St., S. W. cor. 3415 Pershing 
Ave. There are two each at 1840 
Lyndon Rd., 5168 Bristol Rd., 
and at 4290 Middlesex, in the 
same district. 

inches tall, depending on variety. 
Don't get discouraged. It's not 
as hard as it sounds. Just follow 
directions a step at a time and let's 
see those exhibition mums next 
fall. 



28 



CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Pioneer Roses 



Rose Davidson 



The "Rose of Castile" and the 
"Castilian Rose" are proud names 
locally attached to two common 
varieties of pink roses; or, at least, 
they used to be so attached. These 
were the single crowned wild- 
flower, claimed by some writers 
to be known all over the world; 
and a very sweet, rather rare, rath- 
er double pink, which was a favor- 
ite of Old Town's oldest dooryard 
gardens. Rosa Calif or nica was the 
wild one, wasn't it? The other, 
according to early botanists, was 
the true Rosa Gallic a. 

Fr. Junipero Serra, first presi- 
dent of the Franciscan Missions of 
California, seems to refer to the 
familiar countryside bush and its 
bloom, when, writing "home" to 
the College of San Fernando, 
Mexico, July 9, 1769, he says: 

"In various arroyos along the 
road (he means a thin Indian 
trail!) and in the place where we 
are now (San Diego — - the Span- 
ish camp at the foot of Presidio 
Hill), besides wild grapevines, 
there are various roses of Castile. 
In fine, it is a good country . . ." 

Was it Rosa Calif ornica that so 
delighted San Diego's earliest en- 
thusiast ? He was not alone among 
Spanish pioneers in misnaming the 
plant. Don Miguel de Costanso, 
engineer, describing San Diego 
river in the middle of May, 1769, 
wrote in his diary: 



Rainford Flower Shop 

CUT FLOWERS 

SPRAYS 

CORSAGES 

Oldest and Most Beautiful 
Flower Shop in the City 



2140 Fourth Avenue 



BE 3-7101 



". . . In the lower part of the 
valley there are some large live 
oaks, and many very leafy wild 
grapes and Castilian roses loaded 
with flowers." 

The wild variety this was of 
course, Fr. Serra's "Rose of Cas- 
tile." Costanso also left this rec- 
ord: 

"Within the grove (at San 
Diego) was a variety of shrubs 
and odoriferous plants, as the 
Rosemary, the Salvia, the Rose of 
Castile . . . The country was of 
joyous aspect ..." 

The true Castilian rose, jR. dam- 
ascena trigintipetala, (we have 
been told is its right name) is sup- 
posed to have come from the Ori- 
ent by way of Spain and southern 
Europe. Some say that it was intro- 
duced into California by the Mis- 
sion Fathers, or early Spanish mili- 
tary settlers at the presidios. "A 
generation ago," an anonymous 
writer sets forth, "this delightful 
species was found luxuriantly near 
all or most of the Missions . . . 
one of the most valuable for gar- 
den planting quite apart from the 
fact that it is one of the oldest 
roses known. Its distinct, attrac- 
tive foliage, its utter disregard for 
neglect or drought, its habit (un- 
like most rose species) of bloom- 
ing continuously, and its delicious 
old-fashioned fragrance (for it is 
the source of our attar of roses) 
mark it as perhaps the most attrac- 
tive and interesting of all Species 
Roses for the California garden." 

Someone recently complained 
that the wild variety of our "Rose 
of Castile" is disappearing. Not 
long ago we ran upon a well- 
grown thicket on Padre Barona 
Indian reservation. And elsewhere 
in this County linger similar 
clumps, "with an unforgettable 
apple-smelling foliage, with very 



appealing rosy-pink, small, single 
flowers." An unidentified news- 
paper clipping says, "It's the apple- 
scented foliage . . . that is the 
thing to get excited about, rather 
than the blooms." 

And of the garden variety we 
recall that twenty years ago, before 
the development of rose culture 
had reached its present marvellous 
proportions, there was at least one 
ancient "Castilian Rose" bloom- 
ing in Old Town. Its thick rather 
pale pink blooms sweetened a 
corner in the patio of Ramona's 
Marriage Place, Casa de Estudillo, 
where the late Tommy Getz 
pointed it out to us. Miss Fidelia 
Woodcock, noted authority, 
named it Rosa Gallic a. 

CASTILIAN 

When Serra came a trail flower 

greeted him; 
A little blossom loved of suns and 

dews, 
A bush which every scented sum- 
mer knows 
In Spain unto this day. As in a 

dream 
He warmed his homesick chill at 

its small flame. 
How oft this fairest wilding thing 

that blows 
He named ! His pink Castilian rose 
Made this far pagan fastness seem 

less grim. 

What is it now ? A mountain 

fugitive, 
That always, flushed and fragrant, 

used to stand 
By mission wall close to his 

gentling hand. 
New cities, welcome back this 

rustic friend — 
Whose beauty eased his heart 

homeward from grief! 
Because Fr. Serra loved it, let it 

live. 



SUMMER, 1957 



29 



Leaves from an Observer's Notebook 



Henry found me huddled on the 
corner of the lowest step of the 
doorway leading from the patio 
to the living room. 

The breeze stirred the king- 
sized leaves of the philodendron 
beside me just enough to swing me 
intermittently from sun to shade. 
'You look disconsolate," re- 
marked Henry stopping to chat. 

"I feel very small-knowing," I 
replied. 

"Sad state," said Henry, sitting 
down beside me. "Would you like 
to confide in me once again?" 

"Perhaps, under pressure." 

"If that's the way you feel I 
. . . " Henry started to leave me. 

I pulled him down and held his 
hand. 

"Four months ago," I began, "I 
planted a wonderful patch of 
Gypsophila " 

"Gypso who?" questioned Hen- 
ry with the tried expression in his 
voice and eyes of "Must we play 
games?" 

"Well, Baby's Breath to you." 

"All right, Baby's Breath. What 
next?" 

"Prepare to weep! When my 
gypsophila came up I did not 
recognize it. I forgot what I had 
planted, mistook it for a weed, 
and pulled it all up!" 

The corner of Henry's mouth 
twitched. "Why did you plant it 
in the first place? Don't answer 

me. I know because 

you wanted a filler for your 
bouquets." 

I shook my head. "You couldn't 
be more wrong. I planted it be- 
cause the directions read, 'Sow the 
seeds broadcast,' My attention was 
arrested. It sounded just the way 
I felt . . . gay and carefree." 

"Didn't someone once remark, 
'Sow in haste, repent in leisure'?" 

'The correct quotation is. 



Marion Almy Lippitt 

'Marry in haste and repent at 
leisure,' ' I answered. 

I looked so woebegone that 
Henry said soothingly, "Never 
mind. They both illustrate the old 
adage, 'Live and learn.' 

"I'm always learning things in 
the garden," I said straightening 
up and looking more cheerful. "I 
know now why I like to garden." 
'You mean," outlined my accu- 
rate New Englander, "that you 
now know another reason why you 
enjoy gardening." 

"Have it your way. For whether 
I've found the one reason or just 
another reason, the reason is a 
dilly." 

Henry settled himself back on 
his elbow to listen. He is such a 
satisfactory listener when not in a 
hurry. The only difficulty is he is 
perpetually so full of projects that 
his listening areas have to be care- 
fully caught, fenced, and cherished. 

This time I had hit the jackpot 
for Henry said with Bing-Crosby 
relaxation, "Tell me all about it." 

"First," I started exuberantly, 
"there should be no impression 
without expression. Check?" 

"Check," replied Henry. 

'Then if one is impressed with 
the niceness of one's family, one 
naturally looks about for some 
form of expression to please 
them." 



"And one finds " 

continued Henry. 

'That," I went on, "one can con- 
tribute one's valiant labors in the 
garden to one's family that they 
may have beautiful dahlias and 
zinnias in the house come sum- 
mer." 

Henry looked at me so long that 
I grew restless. 

"You don't believe me?" I said 
defensively. 

"Shall I tell you what I really 
think?" asked Henry. 

"Certainly." 

"I think you have done it again." 

"Done what?" 

"Justified yourself." 

"Just what do you mean?" 

"Well, loving the garden be- 
yond reason, your conscience must 
be eased for the amount of time 
you spend in it. Therefore you 
thought up this rigamarole of no 
impression without expression." 

"I thought, I said pensively, 
"that I was fulfilling the advice of 
the Bible." 

It was Henry's turn to look 
apolgetic. "And what does the 
Bible say?" 

It says, "Lift up your heart with 
your hands." 

Getting to his feet, Henry 
looked down at me with his fan- 
tabulous smile and said, "You win 
again, old dear!" 




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CALIFORNIA GARDEN 



Garden Chores 



This is being written on the 
night before Memorial Day for 
the Summer issue and you would 
assume that I am concentrating 
on my subject. And I am. I'm plan- 
ning some work on the front yard 
for Memorial Day morning. Early. 
That's the way I first remember 
Memorial Day. People working on 
their front lawns. Only, because 
of the flags and the white shirts 
they were wearing, it seemed more 
a home loving ritual than any 
other day. And it really was, wasn't 
it? 

You worry about the tenses in 
the above. Mrs. Clark, our editor, 
has enough to do. And Memorial 
Day is the beginning of summer, 
so I don't believe we should neg- 
lect it in the Summer issue. 

Ran into a young man down at 
the Nursery where I work now 
who really has confidence in his 
Nitrohumus product. Lots of sales- 
men come in and chew the fat and 
some of them get to the nail- 
chewing stage, too. For instance, 
I commented flatly that I liked 
steer as a source of fertile mulch 
and that I was not overwhelmed 
by the performance of this other 
stuff. What brand did you try, he 
said, as sweet as pie. Told him. He 
didn't say what he had was better 
or best. He explained that his 
product was sun-cured and the 
natural mulching effect and other 
qualities were still there, but sun- 
sterilized. And that Disneyland 
was a demonstration of this ma- 
terial's effectiveness. So here is a 
reminder of a good product for 
summer planting and mulching. 
Because a young salesman didn't 
chew nails. Oh yes, and he also 
said it breaks down satisfactorily 
in case that's what your soil needs. 
I must go up to Disenyland some- 
time and see — those plants ! 

Got some low-down on shade 



Ada Perry 

trees from one of our old-time 
and new-time wholesale growers. 
Been doing it for years and going 
stronger than ever. He had some 
beautiful Brisbane Box or Tris- 
tania conferta lined up in five gal- 
lon cans looking so handsome and 
uniform, and dark green and 
healthy. It seems to be doing a 
good job as a street tree and is or- 
dered in lots of 50 or so for this 
purpose. The point seems to be to 
feed it decently and the foliagle 
looks but good. It also can be 
shaped successfully, according to 
Sunset. Not fond of frost in any 
quantity or lengthy duration. In- 
cidentally, the boss-man down my 
way now, says you can do a tree 
lots of good the first years its 
planted with liquid fish fertilizer. 
I mentioned foliage of the whole- 
saler's trees because he's a good 
feeder and there are plenty of 
Tristanias offered for sale and 
growing in the ground which 
haven't had the pleasure of as- 
sociating with "a good feeder." 

We talked about Guatamala 
Holly because it came up in com- 
parison with the Holly Oak — 
hollies and holly foliage are pretty 
popular now, you know. Mr. 
Wholesaler laid it on the line. He 
hated to see people with a small 
yard buy a nice holly oak they 
would have to get rid of because it 
gets too large. And he considers 
the Guatamala holly a good solu- 
tion since it turns out to be a smal- 
ler tree. Tell you something. There 
are folks who think its foliage is 
prettier than the Holly Oak. It will 
take a frost or two during the 
winter but no extended engage- 
ments, please. Spray it when you 
spray the rest of the garden, under- 
neath and all over. The new foli- 
age is beautiful. 

I've tossed the word "holly" 
around and neither of these trees 



is one. This is the way you pin it 
down: the Holly Oak is Quercus 
ilex; the Guatamala Holly is 01- 
mediellia betschleriana. I'm sorry 
as I can be but life among the 
catalogues is like that. 

There is an echium which has 
been named for Alfred Hottes. It 
is a sky blue rather than an indigo 
blue and the color is pure. That 
Correa magnified, the chartreuse 
Australian fuchsia, gives a differ- 
ent and modern look planted with 
Teucrium fruiticans which is airy 
and blue and grey. Here's one for 
us old-timers; masses of blue sea 
lavender or Statice perezi with a 
Mermaid rose. Aster frikarti and 
Convolvulus cneorum look well 
together and you can border 
around dwarf citrus or Meyer lem- 
ons and Rangpur limes with this 
silvery white convolvulus and the 
statice. Don't need watering con- 
stantly. The convolvulus can go 
with the bushy pure mauve Aster 
fruticosa, too. 

Ladies, maybe we should take 
up citrus growing as a hobby. Cer- 
tainly with the limes, tangerines, 
tangelos, dwarfs, regulars and 
bush-grown there is plenty of 
scope. And besides, that citrus 
hobbyist who came into the nur- 
sery a short time ago looks just 
like any woman wants to look 
after that 25 year old limit is 
reached! I just gaped and won- 
dered if citrus as a hobby did that 
streamlining and fine skin color- 
ing. I was asking her questions, 
too. She uses Malathion on the 
citrus to keep them clean. And to 
produce extraordinary growth, and 
fruit, and flavor, she uses Super- 
thrive, that growth hormone pro- 
duced in Hollywood, which is fa- 
miliar to most of us who garden 
and not used by most of us to the 
best advantage. If you want 
growth and progress in a plant 



SUMMER, 1957 



31 



Editorial Bouquets 



This is nature's most prodigal 
season. High notes against the sky 
are the mauve panicles of Jac- 
aranda trees, whose spent blooms 
leave a blue echo beneath them. 
The rich greens and dominating 
whites of magnolia leaves and 
flowers play another theme. In the 
same key but in a thinner, lighter 
mood are the lacy leaves and 
creamy flowers of the Sweetshade 
tree, Hymenosphorum jlavum. 
Both of these trees add an extra 
bonus of fragrance to the air. 
Watch for the golden racemes 
among the feathery foliage of the 
Tipuana t'tpu tree. 

Bougainvillaea vines now top 
anything they can clamber over 
with a riot of pulsating color. Hi- 
biscus flaunt their starlike blobs of 
color in a palette ranging from pal- 
est yellow to deepest red. Other 
warm tones are brushed in by the 
rosy bristling staamens of the bot- 
tle-brush and deepened by the 
bronze leaves of the purple plum 
tree. All summer long the ole- 
anders will burgeon forth with 
masses of heavy double blooms or 
with single flower staccatos, in a 
wide range of gay colors. 

All of this reminds me of the 
"Color Park" that Kate Sessions 
longed to see in Pacific Beach. This 
dream is being realized where old- 
timers least expected it, in the 
reaches of Mission Bay Park, 



from a house plant to a tree, this 
stuff is quite often the means. I 
heard a young women with her 
first garden expressing her satis- 
faction with the growth of her 
trees because she was smart 
enough to use this. The citrus 
hobbyist got extraordinary re- 
sponse from an old, neglected 
orange with it. Well, use it if you 
have the occasion, then. 



thanks to the initial efforts of Ro- 
land Hoyt, who laid it out. Many 
of the shrubs and trees mentioned 
above are planted there and are 
now large enough to color the pic- 
ture. Bruce Taylor, formerly with 
the nursery that stocks this park, 
should be credited for the radiant 
display of pelargoniums on a bank 
of land in a main traffic intersec- 
tion of the park. These plants have 
waited a long while for someone to 
give them a chance to show how ef- 
fective their masses of color can be, 
especially in a dry section with salt 
winds. Fortunately, the highway 
is so busy where they bloom that 
the public is not tempted to stop 
for a few cuttings of these choice 
geraniums. Low clumps of purple 
statice color the edges of many 
plantings. There is also a fine 
stand of a comparatively new 
shrub, Dodonea purpurea, which is 
now large enough so that its bronzy 
willowy leaves make a colorful im- 
print on the landscape. 

The dwarf woody veronicas or 
hebes are making a fine showing 
of crisp green leaves with blue 
flowering tips on each branch — 
the first time such a planting has 
ever appealed to me. Another 
shrub home gardeners do not care 
for, because it is hard to keep in 
bounds, is the lantana. The bay 
area is a perfect place to let it 
make a good ground cover while 



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its masses of pink and yellow clus- 
ters soften stronger colors. The 
new types of this plant, particular- 
ly the prostrate yellow variety, do 
not grow as rampant. 

Another tree-like shrub, Metro- 
sideros tomentosa, a great favorite 
of Kate Sessions, is in its prime 
now, especially around La Jolla. 
In the park by the Cove, she plant- 
ed one that has a handsome open 
form, which is more attractive 
than that of two large specimens 
just beyond the entrance to the 
Beach and Tennis Club, but the 
latter have a wonderful exhuber- 
ance of bloom, easily seen by the 
passer-by. Sometimes called the 
New Zealand Christmas Tree, 
where it flowers at that time, the 
holly-like gray-green leaves have 
a tendency to hide the massed fil- 
aments of orange-red bloom, so 
reminiscent of the red-flowering 
eucalyptus, now at the height of 
its seasonal color. 

We are happy to introduce two 
new names to the list of old 
friends who write for California 
Garden. We have known Mr. De 
Haan, of Leucadia, as one of our 
most exact and stimulating speak- 
ers at club meetings. Since he 
feels he has earned a rest in that 
field, it seemed even better to get 
some of his up-to-date ideas on 
paper for our readers. His remarks 
on Epidendrums are timely, in a 
little-known department. 

You will be hearing more about 
and from Dave Roberts, because 
he is now at the helm of the Bal- 
boa Park Nursery. Most of us have 
exclaimed over the handsome 
chrysanthemums that grace the 
park in October, the results of 
many months of long and careful 
work by his staff. If we follow 
his directions we should get good 
results, at least we will appieciate 
his plants even more. 



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